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6/6/2019 Basalt Fiber Properties, Advantages and Disadvantages

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Basalt fiber is a relative newcomer to fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs) and structural
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composites. It has a similar chemical composition as glass fiber but has better
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strength characteristics, and unlike most glass fibers is highly resistant to alkaline,
acidic and salt attack making it a good candidate for concrete, bridge and shoreline
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Compared to carbon and aramid fiber, it has the features of Email:
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Civil Engineering resistance, higher compression strength, and higher shear
Specialties strength. (Note that application temperatures of FRPs are
limited by the glass transition temperature of the matrix,
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which is lower than the application temperature of the fibers.)
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Producing fibers from basalt was researched during the cold
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war by the old Soviet Union and limited commercial research
and production was done in the U.S. during the same period.
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The Soviets researched basalt as a source of fiber for ballistic
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The price of fibers made from basalt is higher than those
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made of E-glass, but less than S-glass, aramid or carbon fiber
Site Map and as worldwide production increases, its cost of production
should reduce further.
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Source of Basalt Fiber

Basalt is a type of igneous rock formed by


Click to Enlarge the rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a
planet. It is the most common rock in the
Earth’s crust.[1] Basalt rock characteristics
vary from the source of lava, cooling rate,
and historical exposure to the elements.
High quality fibers are made from basalt
deposits with uniform chemical makeup.

The production of basalt and glass fibers


are similar. Crushed basalt rock is the only
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the fiber. It is a continuous fiber produced
Basalt Rock photo credit: v.maxi through igneous basalt rock melt drawing
via photopin cc at about 2,700° F (1,500° C).[2]

Though the temperature required to produce fibers from basalt is higher than glass,
it is reported by some researchers that production of fibers made from basalt
requires less energy by due to the uniformity of its heating.

Mechanical Properties

Strain at
Fiber Specific Tensile Strength ksi Elastic Modulus, ksi
Break, in/in
Type ▸ Gravity ▸ (MPa) ▸ (GPa) ▸
(mm/mm) ▸

Basalt 2.7 400-695 (2800-4800) 12,500-13,000 (86-90) 0.0315

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6/6/2019 Basalt Fiber Properties, Advantages and Disadvantages
Basalt as a fiber used in FRPs and structural composites has high potential and is
getting a lot of attention due to its high temperature and abrasion resistance.
Compared to FRPs made from glass, aramid and carbon fiber, its use in the civil
infrastructure market is very low.

Although current research shows that the


structural behavior, including long-term Click to Enlarge
deflections due to creep and cyclical
loading is similar to glass fiber,
internationally recognized code
authorities have yet to acknowledge basalt Looking for
Design
in their codes.  This puts the use of basalt
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at a disadvantage until the American FRPpro™ free!
Concrete Institute, Canadian Standards
Association, Fédération Internationale du
Béton (International Federation for Like 62 Share
Structural Concrete), and others provide
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specific design guidance for its use.
Recognition and engineering design of
Examples of basalt fiber grids.
basalt composites should continue to
climb as research substantiates current Photo Credit: Richard E. Prince, PE
knowledge and code authorities adopt its
strength characteristics.

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References used on this Page

1. Hancock, Paul and Skinner, Brian J. "basalt." The Oxford Companion to the
Earth. 2000. Encyclopedia.com.
2. “Continuous basalt fiber sector in shaping. (Statistics)” China Chemical
Reporter. July 6, 2010. highbeam.com.
3. Palmieri, A., Matthys, S., and Tierens, M. “Basalt fibres: Mechanical properties
and applications for concrete structures.” Taylor and Francis Group. 2009.
crcnetbase.com.

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Eo Greensticks
Does anyone know how basalt fibre rope performs in a marine
environment? Are the fibres to brittle to take the constant
movement for instance on a mooring for a boat?
Like · Reply · 23h

Leroy Essek
Check out this company called Grainis LTD, Basalt and
Zirconia Fibers. Plus this Bugaria company is very involved
with producing very low cost hydrogen. They have a Facebook
Page, Internet and sometimes post on the Facebook for
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